Do we really need to talk about this? You’d think with over a decade of living with cell phones that we had already figured out by now how to be respectful toward others and how not be rude and unconcerned about the dignity of others. Sadly still today things at times seem to be getting worse. Here are some rules that we can practice during Lent, to exercise Christian Charity.
1. TURN OFF YOUR CELL phone when going to Church, a conference, a class, the library, the movies, a museum, a public performance, and please respect not only those carrying out the services and the performances, but also those attending, who do not appreciate the distractions, the noise and the selfishness of those who fail to turn their cell phones off. It is considered even ruder to answer the phone after having distracted everybody with your cell. Texting in Church is also considered disrespectful to God and to those who are praying around you.
2. When talking in public places, like restaurants, shopping malls, buses, planes, make sure you DO NOT SPEAK TOO LOUDLY, MODULATE YOUR VOICE. Please DO NOT CARRY OUT PRIVATE or INAPPROPRIATE CONVERSATIONS in public. Observe the 10-foot Proximity Rule: maintain a distance of at least 10-feet from the nearest person when talking on a cell phone.
3. If you are meeting with someone, please GIVE THAT PERSON YOUR UNDIVIDED ATTENTION, and DO NOT RUDELY INTERRUPT THEM. If you get a call, do not answer it, you can press ignore it or let it roll to voicemail, you can always retrieve the message or return the call later, unless you know with certainty that it is REALLY important or you are actually expecting a call due to an emergency (in that case warn the other party that you may have to answer a call because you are expecting an urgent message). Have you ever carried out a really interesting conversation in which you were talking about something really important and meaningful to you only to be interrupted by the other person: “Sorry, have to get this!”? Some people have lost a potential job for answering their cells during an interview, some others have lost a date for being rude and making a bad first impression, and some others have lost potential contracts during business presentations due to their lack of courtesy.
4. DO NOT TEXT OR TALK WHILE DRIVING, this is not only rude, but you also endanger your life and the lives of others. Similarly DO NOT TEXT WHILE TALKING TO SOMEONE, please respect that person.
5. SPARE US FROM LOUD AND ANNOYING RINGTONES, I guess the word annoying says it all.
6. RESPECT CASHIERS, WAITERS, WAITRESSES, CLERKS, AND OTHER WORKERS, they are people too, and although they may not be your friends, they still deserve your respect. How many times have we seen people carrying out conversations on their cells while talking with the cashiers/clerks at fast food restaurants, stores, malls, banks, etc? That is simply rude.
7. APPLY YOURSELF THE GOLDEN RULE, do not do to others what you would not want them to do to you. Being a Christian begins with small acts of charity and courtesy.
Fr. Fernando, OMV J